Considering Thinkific vs Kajabi?

If you’re looking to start a business creating online courses and selling your knowledge you may have come across a few different platforms like Thinkific and Kajabi, but you may not be sure which is right for you.

Both platforms have a lot to offer and may even look exactly the same on the outside, but on the inside, they are both very different and in this article, my goal is to show you everything they have to offer and most importantly where they differ.

Before You Start…

Before I get started there are a few things I want to share with you.

First I am an affiliate of Thinkific and Kajabi I will earn a commission if you do decide to buy through my link.  If you do I just want to say thank you upfront for supporting Side Hustle Academy.

Second, take the time to review both products thoroughly, and pick the one that best fits your needs.  I will share the platform that I like at the end of this article but it is still your decision.

Finally, my goal with this article is to give you the facts and the details about both platforms, not bash one product over the other.

With that out of the way, let’s get started.

What is Thinkific and What is Kajabi?

To start Thinkific and Kajabi are known as Learning Management Solutions, LMS for short.  They are complete platforms designed to help create, build, and market all of your online courses.

They basically take care of all the technical stuff like hosting your video, dealing with payment processors, and even marketing your courses out to your students.

If you don’t want to deal with all the technical detail so you can focus on the more important things like creating more courses.  The question is which platform is right for you?

Related Articles: Here are a few other articles I wrote that you may be interested in as well.

Thinkific vs Kajabi – A Complete Comparison Chart

Below is a complete 40 point chart comparing Thinkific vs Kajabi, however after you’ve read this I will share the 10 major differences between each platform.

Can You Create Unlimited Courses?Yes, but you can only create 3 courses with the free plan.Depends on the plan
- Basic Plan: 3 products
- Growth 15 Products
- Pro Plan: 100 Products
Do They Offer SSL?YesYes
Can You Customize Your Site Design?YesYes
Can You Setup a Custom Domain Name?Offered with paid plansOffered with paid plans
Do You Have Complete Control of Course Material?You own the course and can do whatever you want with ItYou own the course and can co whatever you want with It
Can You Control Pricing?You can price your course for as much as you want or even offer it for freeYou can price your course for as much as you want or even offer it for free
Do They Offer a Marketplace?NoYes
Can You Offer Coupons and Promotional Discounts?Yes, you set any kind of discount for as long as you wantYes, you set any kind of discount for as long as you want
Can You Offer an Affiliate Program for Your Course?Yes, and you can also determine the commission percentage Yes, and you can also determine the commission percentage
Allows You to Monitor Students Progress?Yes, detailed reporting and analyticsYes, detailed reporting and analytics and CRM
Do You Have Complete Control Over Students?Yes, they are your studentsYes, they are your students
Do They Offer Quizzes?YesYes
Can You Offer Drip Content?Yes, offered with paid plans onlyYes
Can You Have Multiple Instructors?YesYes
Can You Share Course Revenue?YesYes
Can You Offer Course Bundles?YesYes
Can You Offer Course Up Sells?YesYes
Do You Offer On boarding CallsYes, with Business Plans and upNo
Can You Get Instant Access to Your Funds?Yes, allows you to integrate Stripe or PayPal on Free planYes
Do They Offer Integrations?Thinkific integrates with several companies from PayPal to ZapierYes
Offers Voice Over Power Point ToolYesNo
Do You Offer Advanced CSS/HTML Editing?YesYes
Do You Offer Free Video Hosting?YesYes
Can You Create Additional Pages?YesYes
Do They Offer Their Own Payment Gateway?NoNo, must integrate with Stripe or PayPal
Do You Offer Instant Payouts?Yes, from the Free Plan and upNo - but they do offer a free 14 day trial
Can You Offer a Free Trial of Your Course?YesYes
Money Back Guarantee?No Refunds30 Days
Do You Offer Group Sales?Yes, based on the plan you have.No
Do They Offer Training?Has a comprehensive Knowledge base Yes, you get access to Kajabi University Training Courses
How Many Students Can You Have?UnlimitedDepends on the plan.
- Basic Plan: 1000 Members
- Pro Plan: 10,000 Members
- Premium Plan: Unlimited
Do They Offer an App?NoYes
Credit Credit Card Processing FeesBased on PayPal and Stripe fees2.9% plus 30 cents. With Pro Plans and up you negotiate lower fees when you integrate Stripe or PayPal.
What Kind of Pricing Options Do You Have?- Free
- One Time Payments
- Recurring Payments
- Payment Plan
- Free
- One Time Payments
- Recurring Payments
- Payment Plan
Are There Course Transaction Fees?No Transaction FeesNo Transaction fees
How Much Do You Save By Paying Annually?20%20% if paid annually
Are There Monthly Payment Plans?Yes
- Essentials $49/Monthly
- Business $99/Monthly
- Premier $499/year
- Basic $149/Monthly
- Growth $199/Monthly
- Pro $399/Monthly
Do They Offer Annual Plans?-Essentials Plan $39/month = $468/year
- Business Plan $79/month = $948/year
- Advanced Plan $399/month = $4788/year
-Basic $119/month = $1428/year
- Growth $159/month = $1908/year
- Pro $319/month = $3828/year
Click Here to Sign Up For ThinkificClick here to Sign Up For Kajabi

11 Major Differences Between Thinkific and Kajabi

Now that you’ve had a chance to review Kajabi vs Thinkific I want to share 10 major areas where both platforms differ.

A lot of times these platforms can look very similar on the outside but when you really dig into the nuts and bolts you’ll see that they are not.

#1 Features

When it comes down to it Kajabi is an entirely different animal.  Kajabi isn’t just a platform that you can host your course on but rather it’s a complete suite of tools.

They not only host your online course but they also manage your email marketing allow you to set up pipelines also known as email funnels, and even host webinars.

Kajabi does this so you don’t have to waste time piecing several different tools together but rather they offer all of those tools in one place.  After all, you’re in this to create products and earn money not do a bunch of tech work.

Now I should admit Thinkific does not require you to do a bunch of tech stuff either but they are not nearly as advanced as Kajabi.  I should also mention that you will have to also integrate your own payment provider with both platforms whether it be Stripe or PayPal.

Score: Thinkific 0   Kajabi 1

#2 Limited Courses

One of the first differences I noticed with both platforms was the number of products you can create.  With Thinkific you can only create 3 courses with their free plan.  This is actually something new they just started doing since they eliminated all transaction fees.

However, when you sign up for the paid plans with Thinkific you can create unlimited courses.  Now let’s compare that to Kajabi.

With Kajabi there is no free plan to start, so you will have to pay to play.  However, even with the basic plan from Kajabi, you are only allowed to create 5 products.  With the Pro Plan, you can create up to 100 products and it isn’t until you get the premium plan that you can sell unlimited products.

Kajabi starts out at more than $100 per month while Thinkific will let you create unlimited courses on the basic plan which doesn’t cost anywhere near $100.

Score: Thinkific 1    Kajabi 1

#3 Cost

Since we’re on the topic of cost lets see just see how much both platforms differ from each other.  Let’s start with Kajabi first.

Kajabi Monthly Pay Plans

  • Basic $149/Monthly
  • Pro $199/Monthly
  • Premium $399/Monthly

Kajabi Annual Pay Plans

  • Basic $119/month = $1428/year
  • Pro $159/month = $1908/year
  • Premium $319/month = $3828/year

With Kajabi you’re looking anywhere from $119 to $399 a month.  Now let’s see what Thinkific has to offer.

Thinkific Monthly Pay Plans

  • Free
  • Essentials $49/Monthly
  • Business $99/Monthly
  • Premier $499/year

Thinkific Annual Pay Plans

  • Free
  • Essentials Plan $39/month = $468/year
  • Business Plan $79/month = $948/year
  • Advanced Plan $399/month = $4788/year

With Thinkific you can start with a free plan but even their enterprise plans start at $499 a month.  That’s nearly half the cost of Kajabi for the same type of plan.

Score: Thinkific 2   Kajabi 1

#4 Instant Payouts

Thinkific also has a unique feature that I have not seen any other learning management software do before and that is to offer instant payouts when someone buys one of your courses.

With most platforms, they usually hold funds until after your 30-day refund policy is up but not with Thinkific. They do this by crediting your Stripe merchant account once the sale is made.

However, you will have to pay the typical credit card fees when a transaction does occur.  The reason I mention this is because if you do have to process a return since you paid the credit card fees you may owe more back.

Score: Thinkific 3   Kajabi 1

#5 Group Sales

Another area that makes Thinkific unique is that also allows you to do a group sale option.  So basically if want to sell your entire course for a company or group to use you could do this.

Of all the different online course platforms out there this is the only one that offers this option, so if this is something that important to you may want to keep this in mind.

Score: Thinkific 4   Kajabi 1

#6  Students

The amount of students you can have is also a big factor when considering Thinkific vs Kajabi.  With Thinkific you can have unlimited students in your courses no matter if it’s the free plan of the Advanced Plan.  However, with Kajabi this is a whole other story.

With Kajabi you can only have a set number of students based on the type of plan you have.  Below is the student breakdown for Kajabi.

  • Basic Plan: 1000 active members
  • Growth Plan: 10,000 active members
  • ProPlan: 20,000 active members

For the amount of money you have to pay this platform it just doesn’t make sense why they restrict the number of students, you can have.

Score: Thinkific 5   Kajabi 1

#7 Refunds

Now I know it sounds like Thinkific is the better option at this point but there is another huge downside and that is the refund policy.  With Kajabi they give you a 30-day refund policy, which basically states that if don’t like what you see you can get a full refund.

However, with Thinkific they don’t give any refund what so ever.  Below is a picture of exactly how they deal with any and all refund requests pulled straight from the Terms of Service page from Thinkific.

Score: Thinkfic 5    Kajabi 2

#8 Training

Now let’s talk about training because I feel this is a key critical part to have a successful course.  Most people, don’t know how to create an only course.  There can be a lot of things that go into a course and having someone to help walk you through the steps can go a long way.

Whether it’s just trying to come up with a course idea, write an outline of your course, or even record your videos, these tasks can feel a bit daunting at first.

Of all the course platforms out there this is where I see Thinkific struggle the most.  Sure they offer some webinars and blog posts but for the most part, they don’t do much in the way to train people how to create their own course.

When you look at Kajabi they have Kajabi University, a complete library of courses to help you get up and going the right way.

Score: Thinkific 5   Kajabi 3

#9 Trial Offers

Trial offers are another way that Thinkific sets itself apart from the pack.  Now you might be wondering what is a trial offer and how does that work with Thinkific?

A trial offer is basically a way to let people try out your course before they pay. How this works is that Thinkific lets you offer your first one or two lessons for free and once the trial offer is up you can ask them to pay for the rest of the course.

I find this option helpful especially if you’re brand new to creating online courses and you don’t have a big name out there yet.  You can use this simple marketing tactic to get people to sign up as a student and warm up to your brand before you push for the sale.

The other great benefit behind this is that you can market to these students when you have a new course to offer.

Score: Thinkific 6   Kajabi 3

#10  Going Free

As I mentioned earlier in this article Thinkific offers a free option for those who want to get started and can’t afford to pay just yet.  With Kajabi you’re looking at $129 a month just for the Basic Plan.

That’s a lot to put on the line when you don’t even have your first course created much less earning you any money.

So if you want to create your first course or just kick the tires to see what all of this online course stuff is all about sign up for a free account and start playing around with it and who knows before long you may have your first course up and running and maybe even a few sales rolling in.

Score: Thinkific 7   Kajabi 3

#11 Custom Pipelines

Finally, one of my favorite features of Kajabi is that it allows you to create Pipelines.  This is one feature that Thinkific does not have.  But Kajabi goes even one step further by giving you premade pipeline templates like the ones below.

What’s great about this is that it gives all of these easy to use premade templates to help you get things up and running fast.

Need to create a new freebie offer on the fly, bam!

Need to put a new product launch pipeline together quickly, bam! Here you go.

In minutes you have the opt-in created, emails ready, and the checkout page all set up.  If you’re like me and hate to do this kind of stuff manually then Kajabi is the way to go here.

Score: Thinkific 7   Kajabi 4

And The Winner Is…

When it comes down to it Thinkific is the clear winner for me.  They allow you to create unlimited courses, have unlimited students, and you can even start for free if you’re looking to bootstrap things before you upgrade to a paid plan.

This is probably the thing I like most because you don’t have to risk a lot to start a business on the side that could potentially have some big earnings.  Now I can’t guarantee earnings but even if you don’t earn anything at least you’ll have tried and it wouldn’t have cost you anything.

So why not take that chance now and give things a shot and sign up for a free Thinkific account now.